9 August 2016Olympic silver medallist Jazz says Rio target got her through low career points
The Swindon 25-year-old, who now lives in Bradford on Avon, finished second in the 400 metres freestyle behind the seemingly invincible American Katie Ledecky, who broke her own world record by nearly two seconds.
Carlin's parents were in the stands to see her achieve a dream, just as they had been when she won the Commonwealth 800m title in Glasgow.
"My dad had a ridiculous shirt on so I'm surprised I couldn't see it," said Carlin. "Oh God, you don't want to see it. It's like a rainbow T-shirt. Not the best look.
"He says it's his lucky T-shirt. He wore it when I won the Commonwealth Games so he thinks it's lucky. I need to tell him it's definitely not that shirt."
It was certainly a very different feeling for Carlin to four years ago, when illness contributed to her missing out on selection for the London Games.
She came close to quitting the sport but believes that experience contributed to her success here.
Carlin, who knocked two seconds off her personal best in one day, said: "A lot of people say it, and it sounds like a cliche, but it takes lows to bring you up and failures to get you to success. Having Rio to aim for got me through the low points.
"I worked so hard. I am that swimmer who is last in the pool and will do absolutely anything to improve."
Carlin's medal triumph arrived moments after Adam Peaty had claimed Britain's first silverware of the Games in spectacular fashion with a world record in the 100m breaststroke.
Britain failed to win a gold in swimming in London, with the sport seen as the major under-performer in a generally stellar Olympics for the host country.
British Swimming named Bill Furniss, who guided Rebecca Adlington to double gold in Beijing, as head coach in 2013.
He has taken a tough approach, with selection for Rio particularly ruthless, and Carlin believes it has paid off.
She said: "It's incredible to be part of such an amazing group. I feel lucky just to be part of the team. I'm one of the seniors now, one of the old ladies.
"I look round and we have world record holders, world champions, European champions, Commonwealth champions - it's a team of such depth.
"We have a lot of youngsters coming through, but we also have a lot of experience. We're a close-knit family.
"We all came through really tough criteria just to make the team. That has an element of toughness about it when you know you need world top-five times just to be here.
"It was the fastest (qualifying) time set by any nation ever. We knew we all had the right to be on this team."
Peaty spoke prior to his final about wanting to be an inspiration to the next generation, and Carlin feels her experiences can also provide motivation to young athletes.
"It's not an overnight thing to become an Olympic medallist," she said.
"When I was a young girl racing one length in my home swimming club it was my favourite time of the week, and even now I'm so passionate about sport and I love what I do.
"Seeing some of the kids support me on my road has been great. They all came to see me off and surprise me with posters and things.
"I'm lucky to inspire some of the young ones and hopefully they can achieve their dreams and get to the Olympics because I've achieved mine."
Carlin has another medal chance in the 800m, the heats of which are on Thursday.